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What is the best way to backup large (10 TB) virtual server with NetBackup

Level 6
Partner Accredited


I have to backup a Windows10 TB VMware virtual server (5 000 000 of files) - data are on NetApp storage.

What is the best way to backup this server :

= backup files with an agent ?

= VMware backup (is there problem for a 10TB snapshot in VMware) ?

= backup with replication director ?

= other solution ?

Thank you.



Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified

1. How is NetApp connected to the VM?

2. What it your SLA (RTO, RPO)?

3. What do you mean under "the best"?  It might mean "the cheapest", or "the fastest" etc.

Level 6
Partner Accredited

1. How is NetApp connected to the VM?

=> NetApp is connected via the SAN.

2. What it your SLA (RTO, RPO)?

=> One backup per day (firts backup may be slower). Restore may be slow (several days).

3. What do you mean under "the best"?  It might mean "the cheapest", or "the fastest" etc.

=> The backup/restore may be slow, but it must be reliable. Solution must be based on existing products (i.e. Netbackup and the NetApp SAN).


Level 4


If VM sits on the Non RDM disk, then you can go with VM snapshot backup using the Dedup and Accelerotor feature.

Ensure that, what transport you prefer. I would suggest go with SAN transport, as it will be pretty speed than others.However for this, you need to zone the SAN LUNs of the Data store where the VM sits with media server.

Also ensure that you should have enough free space on the Data store where your VM sits to accumulate the quescy snapshot.

If you can also give a try of Flash backup, for which you need to install the agent on the VM and enable the client side dedup which helps to take backup of more number files with lesser time period.




Level 6
Partner Accredited


I can use only HotAdd transport mode because my backup host is a vritual machine...

Do you think that it is possible to backup a 10 TB VM ?


Don't think you can hot add a 10 TB VM, know that others have had problems with VMs on 1-2 TB in size in relation to vmware snapshot backup in general. Also remember that if your VM backup host has to move 10 TB, it will use a lot of resources from the virtualization system.

Without knowing more about you setup, I would gues that a client inside in with accelerator would best your best bet. Have assumed the VM in question is a kind of file server, as you specific a high number of files.

Curious about why the files is not hosted on the NetApp directly as it is filer ?



The standard questions: Have you checked: 1) What has changed. 2) The manual 3) If there are any tech notes or VOX posts regarding the issue


LOL - 

Q. what is the best way to back up 10TB of data? 

A. in small pieces. Split it into 10 1TB backups.

In many cases this can be done via something called planning. However - 

I had something like this where it had just evolved, groups were just sending data to archive. I had to request them to reorganize - either by date (year dir, month dir, etc) or source ( location dir or dept dir ) so I could backup using the highest level directory to split it up.

Of course - this took us several years, and I had to suffer with a hot mess until I could convince the application to straighten it out, you have my sympathy.

NetBackup on Solaris 11, writing to Data Domain 9800
duplicating via SLP to LTO5 in SL8500 via ACSLS

Ok, let me try to give you some information, which might be very helpful to you ...

If your NetApp storage is running with Data Ontap Software, transfer speed is limited to around 60-70MB/s on SATA drives and 120-130MB/s on SAS drives using HOTADD mode (not recommended to be used on NFS shares, only iSCSI and FC LUNs). vSwitches with 10Gbit/s physical NICs provided. Transfer speed is only higher on SAS drives compared to NBD transport mode, with SATA drives there is no real noticable difference. NBD transport mode is no option either in your scenario btw, too slow.

If you would install a physical NetBackup Server under Windows and make your iSCSI or FC LUNs visible to your physical NetBackup server, it gets a little bit faster, if your mentioned VM is on SAS drives, around 170-180MB/s transfer speed. Not very fast either, if you need to transfer 10 million MBytes (equals 10TB). Using VMware accelerator backups is an option, though initial backup would take ages as well.

The biggest risk in my opinion is the size of 10TB of your VM. Provided that your datastore has enough disk space, the snapshot file could still grow to the same size of your VM (if someone would save GBytes of data during the backup), which means more than 20TB datastore size would be necessary to avoid troubles. Btw, the sheer amount of time to commit such a snapshot after the end of the backup is insane.

I don't know, if NetBackup is able to make backups of NetApp snapshots or snapmirrored volumes, this would avoid big VMware snapshots, as they would be committed, as soon as the backup would be done from NetApp snapshots or snapmirrored volumes.

I suppose, no matter how strange it might sound, but your best way to backup this 10TB VM might be to use a Windows remote agent and do backups over LAN through the VM vNIC, first full backup and cumulatives later.

You also have my sympathy ;)